By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2
News Item: Brian Kontak, a golfer with conditional status on the Nationwide Tour, announced that he will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open.
Why stop there?
Here at Page 2, we're opposed to all forms of gender discrimination -- from the clubhouse at Augusta National to the un-American, borderline-communist "laws" that prevent women from doffing their tops in public. (The producers of "Girls Gone Wild"? Patriots).
As such, we think it's time to tear down the gender wall, starting with ...
Reason to integrate: They got game? Hey -- so do we.
End result: Pushing + grabbing + poor fundamentals + frequent dunking = A league that people will actually watch.
Unintended consequences: Shawn Kemp dons a sports bra without shame; Vin Baker finally finds a place he can call home.
Crossover candidate: LeBron James. Admit it: You'd tune in.
Gender inequity: Knee-length shorts look better on men.
The WTA Tour
End result: Like mixed doubles. Without the doubles part. And who cares about doubles, anyway?
Unintended consequences: Cheesecake shots of Anna Kournikova replaced by shirtless pics of Jan-Michael Gambill. No. No. A thousand times no.
Crossover candidate: Johnny Mac. Just to see the old man get waxed, Williams-style.
Gender inequity: Women still corner the market on psycho tennis dads.
Reason to integrate: So Americans can capture any future co-ed World Cups. (Remember: After Team USA's flameout at the basketball world championships, we are officially a futbol nation).
End result: Ponytails. Everywhere ponytails.
Unintended consequences: Washed-up international stars like Lothar Matthaus have yet another league in which they can steal a paycheck.
Crossover candidate: Michael Jordan. Once shot a commercial with Mia Hamm; come May, figures to have a lot of time on his hands. And it can't be any harder than hitting a curveball.
> Gender inequity: If cupped hands over the nether regions are any indication, men will forever have it worse -- much, much worse -- during penalty kicks.
Women's college basketball
End result: CBS antes up $6 billion to broadcast the "women's" tournament; Martha Burk ecstatic.
Unintended consequences: Plan probably runs afoul of Title IX. Not that we're lawyers. Or even Jennifer Capriati, for that matter.
Crossover candidate: Tennessee's men's team. Frankly, they could use the attention.
Gender inequity: Women's basketball subject to Dick Vitale. Hit the mute button, baby!
Reason to integrate: Pitcher Jennie Finch.
End result: Softball becomes first NCAA sport to serve beer during games. To the players, of course.
Unintended consequences: Uptick in ultra-serious former jocks-turned-weekend warriors makes who-cares company league even more unbearable.
Crossover candidate: Rick Ankiel. Maybe an underhand motion is just what he needs. Besides, you can't kill anyone with a softball. Can you?
Gender inequity: Guys still reluctant to engage in post-game group hug. Unless Finch is involved.
Women's figure skating
End result: Men now free to bawl on the ice. More free, that is.
Unintended consequences: Treatment for "Cutting Edge II" is put into production; "He two-footed the quad!" replaces "You have been voted off the island" as tired national catch phrase.
Crossover candidate: Dick Vermeil. No stranger to Kleenex.
Gender inequity: None. Corrupt judges interested in money, not gender.
Reason to integrate: Sand doesn't discriminate. Why should we? (It really does get everywhere.)
End result: Bodacious babes, hot hunks. Entertainment for the entire family.
Unintended consequences: Sport spawns a comeback series for David Hasselhoff.
Crossover candidate: Anyone, really. Except Robert Edwards.
Gender inequity: "Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball" not as entertaining with exagerrated male characters.
End result: "Divas" look only 10 percent more mannish.
Unintended consequences: Wrestling fans finally wake up and smell the sport's blatant homoeroticism.
Crossover candidate: Dennis Rodman. No stranger to cross-dressing; familiar with the squared circle.
Gender inequity: In women, steroids lead to facial hair; in men, they produce shrunken testicles. An anabolic toss-up.
Reason to integrate: Just 'cause. (Hey, we put a man on the moon for pretty much the same reason -- well, that and the chance to hit a few low-gravity golf shots).
End result: Jerry Jones no longer the only male plastic surgery patient on the Cowboys' sideline.
Unintended consequences: Sales of annual swimsuit calendar plummet; ESPN executives forced to replace "Making Of" special with back-to-back episodes of "Around the Horn." The horror ... the horror.
Crossover candidate: President Bush, who knows a little about cheerleading; former President Clinton, who probably knows more than a little about cheerleaders.
Gender inequity: Put it this way -- hot pants aren't exactly gender-neutral.
Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at email@example.com.